June 24, 2023
By Asra Haque and Maryam Missal
AGHS Legal Aid Cell conducted a training workshop under its flagship paralegal programme on Friday, June 23. The workshop was one in a series focused on building awareness of pressing societal issues, especially those concerning the rights of women and children.
AGHS’s paralegal programme is supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Pakistan.
Friday’s workshop, which was attended by around 40 paralegal trainees and locals registered with one of 16 community centres in Lahore, focused on population control, family planning, reproductive health, and mother and child care. AGHS lawyers and healthcare professionals informed attendees of the benefits of family planning, as well as the types of contraceptives and medical treatments available to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Shama Munir, a nutritionist, said that pregnant mothers should eat healthy, do light exercises for at least 20 minutes on a daily basis and take folic acid to ensure that their babies are born healthy. She also urged to avoid early marriages as younger, underweight mothers are at higher risk of giving birth to underweight and unhealthy babies.
Dr. Shamsa Inaam, a gynaecologist and paralegal associated with AGHS for over 15 years, explained the various forms of contraceptives that are both affordable and freely available in the market. She also offered free-of-cost treatment to attendees
seeking medical interventions to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
AGHS lawyers and paralegal trainers also encouraged the participants to bring their complaints and cases to their centre in-charge to resolve their concerns either through community intervention or legal aid.
The Embassy of the Netherlands in Pakistan, including the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Pakistan Henny Fokel de Vries, also paid a visit.
Ambassador de Vries stated that during the course of her demography studies, she learned the maxim
“not too young, too old, too many and too close.”
She also said that although she hails from a country where reproductive rights and family planning are more commonplace, she hoped that the women here would take practical steps to live healthy and happy futures.